“Spend the whole of your one beautiful life investing in many lives…”
Ann Voskamp~One Thousand Gifts
Hospitality: Welcome, kindness, warmth, generosity…
This weekend I’m having a baby shower for Bethany, my oldest daughter whose first baby, a girl, is due in mid-May. On Monday I found myself going in circles not getting anything done for the shower. By the end of the day I was the definition of grumpy. I yelled at my little shadow, Bindi (one of the pups) and snapped at The Husband. I slept fitfully and woke to pouring rain. Before I even threw off the covers I heard the whisper…
“Why are you anxious about this shower?“
I knew the answer immediately. I sighed as I shoved my foot into a slipper…I’m anxious because I want this to be perfect…for Bethany.
“Okay, ” I relented as I walked downstairs, “for me too. I want this to be perfect because maybe it’s a slight reflection of me.”
YUK. I have a love-hate relationship with seeing the ugly in myself. Hate it for obvious reasons but love it because I can’t get rid of it it until I see it.
During my quiet time I did a bit of research on what the Bible says about hospitality…
“Show hospitality to one another without grumbling”(1 Peter 4:9)
“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord…”(Colossians 3:23)
When I start anything from a distorted motive things tend to get messed up. Sitting there curled on the couch before sunrise with rain falling steady I remembered a baby shower a few weeks before. It was for my niece Colleen given by her mom in preparation for their second Baby Michael David. At one point during the shower I kinda stepped back and listened. Watched.
There were cousins, aunts, friends and grandparents hugging on each other. Occasionally one of us would lay a hand lightly on Colleen’s rounded belly sharing blessings for the tiny-one growing inside. We gasped over each baby gift opened… you’d think we’d never seen a flannel blanket before. But that’s what women do.
There was laughter and cake with fluffy frosting…
We bounced babies on our knees and talked excited over one another telling birth stories, and stories of newborn’s who didn’t sleep… stories of nursing infants and potty training two-year olds. This talking, retelling…it wasn’t merely jibber-jabber.
We were reliving memories. Keeping them alive by giving them away. And with our memories we were giving something more. We were giving a bit of ourselves.
All of us coming together to love and support Colleen, and in doing that, maybe we were somehow loving and supporting each other.
Colleen’s mom put together a gorgeous shower with yummy food. But what I’ll remember forever are the happy voices and carefree laughter and I can’t help believing in our loving each other we were also loving God.
All the preparations are a means-to-an-end.
Starting with the end in mind keeps ego and drive-for-perfection from blinding me to the truer purpose, creating an atmosphere of welcome, kindness, warmth and generosity.
Do you have any thoughts you can share with me about hospitality? For some of you, it comes as natural as your next breath. I so love to know your process…